Now that my university life is over, I'm back working as hard as ever on my Take Back What's Yours Campaign. Over the last few months, I've been in complete awe at how many people have gotten involved and taken the time to spread the word about it. It honestly means so much and I'm forever grateful to you all!
To kick things off again, I've got a great interview here with fellow blogger, Florence from the blog 'Love from, Florence Grace'. I hope you all enjoy this interview as much as I did... I'm sure you'll all find it inspiring and will help any of you who are going through body confidence/self-esteem issues.
Hi Florence, tell me a bit about yourself!
Hi! I'm a student, studying Creative Business, I work part time at a charity shop and I am a radio presenter, columnist and blogging extraordinaire! I'm a very busy bee and am working hard to create a media-based career for myself.
What do you blog about?
I blog mostly about 'lifestyle'-esque topics, usually current issues with a spin of my own opinion...I am a very opinionated person and I am not afraid to speak my mind. Sometimes it gets me caught up in some debates, but that's all part of the fun of being a writer!
What inspires you in life?
In life, I inspire myself! It may sound big headed or vain, but I have overcome so many obstacles in my life to get to where I am right now, and I have achieved so many things in the last year that about four years ago I never would have even dreamed about doing! I'm also inspired by Vanessa Sanyauke, founder of Girls Talk London, who strives to work hard for and represent women of all ages from all over the world.
What keeps you motivated?
My blog keeps me motivated! Every time I see my views go up or receive a nice message about my posts, I feel happy that people are actually reading my posts and that it makes all the time spent working on my blog seem worthwhile...this motivates me to write more and to improve my writing as one day, I want to be a voice for people worldwide!
What is your proudest achievement either in life or the blogging world?
My proudest achievement is finally gaining independence at the age of 18. I was always so co-dependent on my friends or my boyfriend and then one day, something just clicked and I started to do all these exciting things by myself! I started travelling to media events at London, alone, doing courses, alone, and of course branching out into a brand new world of blogging completely new to everything and everyone! Gaining independence has been a massive confidence boost and I'm so happy it happened for me.
What is your experience with low confidence and self-esteem?
I suffered very badly at the hands of online bullies for 4 years of my life during secondary school. I was mocked for absolutely anything and everything I did, given endless abuse and lost all of my friends for doing nothing- or nothing that I was ever aware of anyway!
How has it changed and impacted your life?
Being bullied completely destroyed my self-esteem, and to this day I am still an incredibly self-conscious person- from my looks, to my weight, to feeling like I'm always being stared at by people and laughed at. It was a very bad time for me and unfortunately still has an impact on me today. I hope one day this will change.
When did you realise your low confidence and self-esteem was impacting your life and how did you feel about it? Was there a trigger that set it off?
I realised it was impacting my life when I was about 17 and my boyfriend noticed I was increasingly more and more sad and keeping myself to myself. My parents then went through a divorce around this time, so I think this probably made everything feel that much worse. I could feel myself getting sadder, but felt I could do nothing about it, which only made me feel worse!
What happens when you're feeling at your lowest? Is there anything you do to make you feel a bit better?
When I'm at my lowest I comfort eat and I cry. Both of these are incredibly bad for me, especially when I am already very self-conscious about my weight, and as for the crying, well, it just leaves me with a pounding headache! Usually to feel better I will get in my pj's and watch a good film, or if I can, I will see my boyfriend, who has been with me through highs and lows for almost 5 years and usually knows how to make me feel a bit better. It's important to remember to breathe deeply and remember that it's not the end of the world, just a small rut. I have to frequently remind myself of this!
How are you coping with it?
I'm coping much better now! Whilst I am still a very self-conscious person, I am much happier in myself compared to me about a year and a half ago!
What kind of support did you seek or did you keep it to yourself?
I just had support from my close friends and family. Fortunately, my problems were nothing serious, and I think it was just a lot of bad things happening all at once, on top of the bullying. Like I said, when I feel bad, I tend to comfort eat and this made my weight problems worse! The Take Back What's Yours campaign is hopefully going to change that around!
Thank you, I hope so too! Do you feel like the media is doing enough to help people who suffer from low self-esteem?
No. Definitely not. It’s definitely one of my pet hates when a magazine splashes a size 6 (or smaller) celebrity female on the front of a magazine with the title "So and so feels comfortable in her body...and tells you how you can to" or words to that effect. Of course you feel comfortable, you're tiny and made up every day by professionals! I think we need a more realistic and serious approach to the issue of low self-esteem. It may not always be something seen as a serious problem, but it can be tough to deal with.
What are your top tips for anyone living with low self-esteem?
Put up little messages with positive, sunny quotes on for you to find in random places, such as in your sock drawer, on your mirror, next to your toothbrush.
Remind yourself of all the great things about you- keep these written down in a list if it helps!
TALK to someone. Even if it's only your cat, or your stuffed bear. Sometimes you just need to let it all out!
I just want to say thank you to Florence for getting involved with Take Back What's Yours! I know your honesty and openness will help people understand they aren't alone in what they are going through. If you want to check out Florence's blog, you can here.
If you're interested in the Take Back What's Yours campaign, there are so many ways to get involved!
If you want to take part in the Take Back What's Yours Challenge, head over to the website here!
If you'd like to be interviewed on topics such as Chichi's or anxiety, bullying, health issues or anything at all you feel could be inspiring to readers, send me an email and I'll get back to you ASAP!
Get in touch!